I speak the obvious when I say parking near the Bradley Center bites… especially on a night that coincides with an event of a sporting or music nature. That’s why a lotta people come early, park and kill time at places like Buck Bradley’s before they head to the big building on Fourth and State. There’s a new joint to refuel near the BC, and it’s called Centercourt (1118 N. Fourth St., 414-226-2323). It’s so new, they haven’t ironed out the hours of operation yet. Some days, open at 3 p.m.; other days, 11:30 a.m. It depends on what’s happening at the Bradley Center. The menu ranges from appetizers of the nachos, wings and sliders persuasion to entrées (meatloaf, ribs) to sandwiches (Italian beef, burgers, shrimp po’ boys). Prices run $5-$10 for sandwiches; $9.95-$11.95 for entrées.
Phyllo Makes a Meal-o
Sphinx Cafe is moving into the old flower shop space on the corner of Farwell and Royall (1751 N. Farwell Ave.), next door to PJ’s Original Subs & Clubs. The owners plan to offer more than 25 kinds of Mediterranean desserts, including baklava. The shop will also have Moroccan coffee and various cold appetizers and entrées. Once the place is open – at the very earliest, a few days after Christmas – the hours will be ambitious: 6 a.m. to midnight.
Something to look forward to in 2010. The East Side’s Tess will run a three-course $25 menu during the dog days of winter – Jan. 3-Feb. 7 (2499 N. Bartlett Ave.). It includes a soup, salad or appetizer; one of three entrées; and choice of dessert. The menu will change on a weekly basis. Hours are Sun 5-9 p.m.; Tues-Thurs 5-10 p.m.; Fri-Sat 5-11 p.m.… And if you’re mulling over what to do on New Year’s Eve – and banging pots and pans while wolfing down Ma Baensch herring isn’t doing it for you – Tess is accepting reservations. For that last night of ’09, the restaurant will serve the regular menu, along with some chef’s specials. Slow-roasted prime rib, house-made lobster ravioli and Blue Point oysters Rockefeller are a few of the latter. Don’t wait too long to call: 414-964-8377.
A few weeks ago, Vecchio Bar and Grille reopened under the name The Red Accordion (1137 N. Old World Third St.). Russ Davis (of Lakefront Brewery Palm Garden fame) is still at the helm. Davis chose the name for, well, historical and personal reasons – the building housed a music store at one time, and Davis’ grandfather was a professional accordion player. The Accordion started its life with just dinner hours. Now it’s also open daily for lunch at 11 a.m. Like the dinner menu, lunch features small plates (a smaller selection than on the dinner menu) and sliders, plus a few cauldrons of soup (varieties like cream of mushroom and corned beef and cabbage). And in one of the better deals I’ve seen for New Year’s Eve, The Red Accordion is doing a five-course meal for $35 per person. Dinner hours on Dec. 31 are 5-9 p.m. Call 414-273-5700 to get in on that.
On a frigid day earlier this week, I stopped into Capriotti’s Sandwich Shop to see what all the hubbub is about. This national chain, which opened its first Wisconsin location just a few moons ago, serves this thing called The Bobbie – roast turkey with stuffing, cranberry sauce and mayo on a sub roll. The Delaware-based chain’s claim to fame is that it uses real roast turkey (not processed meat) on its sandwiches. I will say I do like the roast turkey angle. Other sandwiches include roast beef, ham and cheese, salami, eggplant Parmesan, meatball and cheese steak. If you’re curious, hours are Mon-Fri 10 a.m.-7 p.m.; Sat 10:30 a.m.-3 p.m. (Chase Tower, 111 E. Wisconsin Ave., 414-223-2277)
Breakfast, French Style
Over the holidays, you may have more time for things like weekday breakfast. Hoppel poppel at Benji’s is one idea. Quiche at Le Rêve is another (7610 Harwood Ave., 414-778-3333). The Tosa café and patisserie will feed you breakfast Mon-Sat, 8-11 a.m. There’s a smart little breakfast menu that includes omelets ($7.95), three kinds of quiche ($6.95) and three kinds of crêpes ($7.95). You could also settle for a croissant and a café au lait. Which really wouldn’t be settling at all. Croissants? C’est fantastique.
Don’t miss this week’s Shopaholic to learn about new stores and events in the world of local retail.
If you spot any restaurant openings or closings out there, don’t hesitate to post it on my column, or e-mail me directly: firstname.lastname@example.org